Cross-Cultural Validation of the 5-Factor Structure of Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia Bulletin





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Objective Negative symptoms are currently viewed as having a 2-dimensional structure, with factors reflecting diminished expression (EXP) and motivation and pleasure (MAP). However, several factor-analytic studies suggest that the consensus around a 2-dimensional model is premature. The current study investigated and cross-culturally validated the factorial structure of BNSS-rated negative symptoms across a range of cultures and languages. Method Participants included individuals diagnosed with a psychotic disorder who had been rated on the Brief Negative Symptom Scale (BNSS) from 5 cross-cultural samples, with a total N = 1691. First, exploratory factor analysis was used to extract up to 6 factors from the data. Next, confirmatory factor analysis evaluated the fit of 5 models: (1) a 1-factor model, 2) a 2-factor model with factors of MAP and EXP, 3) a 3-factor model with inner world, external, and alogia factors; 4) a 5-factor model with separate factors for blunted affect, alogia, anhedonia, avolition, and asociality, and 5) a hierarchical model with 2 second-order factors reflecting EXP and MAP, as well as 5 first-order factors reflecting the 5 aforementioned domains. Results Models with 4 factors or less were mediocre fits to the data. The 5-factor, 6-factor, and the hierarchical second-order 5-factor models provided excellent fit with an edge to the 5-factor model. The 5-factor structure demonstrated invariance across study samples. Conclusions Findings support the validity of the 5-factor structure of BNSS-rated negative symptoms across diverse cultures and languages. These findings have important implications for the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of negative symptoms.


Negative symptoms; 5 factors; Anhedonia; Avolition; Asociality; Alogia; Blunted affect; Brief Negative Symptoms Scale (BNSS); Confirmatory factor analysis; Exploratory factor analysis


Psychiatric and Mental Health



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